Blasting the culture of entitlement that has engulfed the 43-year governing Progressive Conservative Party, Calgary-Varsity MLA Donna Kennedy-Glans announced on Monday that she was leaving the government caucus to sit as an Independent MLA. Ms. Kennedy-Glans is the second MLA to leave the PC caucus this month, but unlike the departure of Calgary-Foothills MLA Len Webber, she did not have a well-known history of dissatisfaction with the party’s leadership.
Since being elected, however, and particularly since joining Cabinet, I am increasingly convinced that elements of this 43-year old government are simply unable to make the changes needed to achieve that dream of a better Alberta. – Donna Kennedy-Glans
The now-former Minister of Electricity and Renewable Energy was a star PC candidate in the 2012 election, and was seen as a rising star within the caucus. A former vice-president of Nexen, Ms. Kennedy-Glans decision to leave the PC caucus carries a significant amount of weight in Calgary’s corporate oil establishment, and her departure is a blow to Ms. Redford’s party.
Hoping to ease the turmoil amid calls for the premier’s resignation and the threat of an MLA revolt, senior PC Party officials gathered in Calgary last weekend and imposed an ambiguous “work plan” on Ms. Redford, essentially putting their leader on probation two years before the next election. A strange move, this action is hardly a vote of confidence in Ms. Redford’s leadership.
The “work plan” apparently did little to appease a group of ten disgruntled PC MLAs, who met in Edmonton on Sunday to discuss their next steps. According to CBC, the ten MLAs at the meeting were Moe Amery, Neil Brown, Ken Lemke, Jacquie Fenske, Mary Anne Jablonski, Matt Jeneroux, Cathy Olesen, Janice Sarich, David Xiao, and Steve Young.
Over the past 43 years, the PC Party has survived, and dominated, by reinventing itself with each new leader. As such, the PC Party has transformed drastically since the principled Peter Lougheed first led it to victory in 1971. Tied to its current unpopular leadership, the PC Party faces a serious identity crisis, but the crisis is deeper than its current leader. As a natural governing party for more than four decades, the PC Party in 2014 has become tired, arrogant and absent of real principles.
Albertans have an overwhelmingly low opinion of Ms. Redford’s character and they are scratching their heads wondering why the party has not yet compelled her to resign. Her aloof reaction to scandals over her personal use of government planes and travel expenses have overshadowed the government’s entire agenda over the past two months.
The PC Party had an opportunity to send Ms. Redford packing last year, when instead they handed her a 77% approval vote in her leadership review.
Now left with no official mechanism to remove her as leader, her opponents and her potential successors are
forced to use eagerly using more public and more embarrassing methods to pressure Ms. Redford to resign.
Update: This morning on CBC Edmonton AM, Edmonton-South West PC MLA Matt Jeneroux mused that he is “taking time to reflect” about whether he should remain in the government caucus.
10 replies on “That sinking feeling. More problems for the Redford Tories”
Former vice-president of Nexen, Ms. Kennedy-Glans thought her job was to make change – in electricity and renewable resources? She’s a conservative in a Conservative government, in a petro province! Her job was to get elected, smile, do nothing and sell it to look like “a better Alberta”.
This star candidate must have a better offer. Take it.
I believe that Ms. Kennedy-Glans has heard an earful from her constituents about things like unnecessary changes to public sector pension plans and attacks on public sector bargaining let alone the clamorous concerns about government entitlement and runaway expenses.
Kudo to Mrs. Glans better later than never. Now those other two MLA’s the male juniors need to decide if they are going to keep wearing diapers to put on some under wears like big boys. This pathetic hunger for 15 minutes of fame and indecisiveness makes them look like amateurish, indecisive opportunists who got not much going on, except their need for the limelight. My advice…put up or shut up. Quit if you believe the courage of your convictions..be men…this sitting on the fence thing none of you deserve office, let alone being an MLA. This is case where electricians are more useful than politicians. They obviously have a lot of growing up to do and shouldn’t have joined politics. Sorry but this protracted indecisiveness is pathetic. Yes it is. Grow up and make a decision you two.
I respect Mrs Glans, she gracefully left on principlewithout some big drawn out need for attention. I even respected her for speaking little I’ll will towards the party she left. These two piggies need to grow some cajonas and become principled men.
Ms. Kennedy-Glans, an arriviste, no doubt propped up by barrels of campaign money, knocked off the chances of a fine and caring community candidate, Liberal Bruce Payne to represent voters – and I’m not partisan to the Libs. And she has only NOW realized the true colours of her party? Give me a break.
We are surrounded by opportunists wherever we look… the opportunity of the moment, of course, being to “abandon ship.”
[…] Monday’s announcement by Calgary-Varsity PC MLA Donna Kennedy-Glans that she would sit as an Independent MLA, two more PC […]
Hey concerned, ditto. Like rats jumping a ship conveniently, MLAs that are not going to be reelected as darlings of somebody’s financial cause…all of a sudden are speaking like some sort of wise, ethical and morally awakened human beings. They were all fully aware of the nature and culture of the Tories they choosingly joined. Now that prospects under this leader don’t look good and conveniently now they are some honest, moral and ethical principles individuals….what a bunch of insincere, shallow hypocrites. These MLAs all stink of follow the leader. The original 3 that left one to the Liberals and two to the WR, did so on principle and the courage of their convictions.
I say that because the three that left Tory land so long ago actually joined another party rather than waffled around to look for a conveniently timed reentry to the Tories.
[…] Redford in 2014 will no more fix the problems than dropping Stelmach in 2012. Alberta blogger Dave Courneyer writes that, “the PC party in 2014 has become tired, arrogant and absent of real principles.” This […]
[…] Kennedy-Glans (Calgary-Varsity) The first-term MLA left the PC caucus earlier this week, blasting what she described as a culture of entitlement. A former senior executive in […]